At the University Catholic Center (UCC) in Austin, Texas, the
effectiveness of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process in
meeting the pastoral needs of its participants and the stated goals indicated
by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) had never been
assessed. Additionally, there was neither a systemic means of evaluating
the process nor a pastoral group which sought to align the RCIA with both
the participants’ pastoral needs and the Catholic bishops' goals. As a result,
it was unknown whether, and what, specific changes were needed to the
RCIA process to improve it.
Addressing this pastoral concern provided a significant demonstration
of the application of theology to ministry. For instance, the solutions have
provided the UCC community with a model of pastoral theology relevant to
the improvement of the RCIA ministry. Furthermore, it may be used a
reference for systematic evaluation of other ministries. In this way, this
project has demonstrated a useful way of approaching ministry with the tools
of pastoral theology.